Tuesday, July 31, 2012

ESL Teaching Tip: Nouns

I have been busy working on developing new manual lessons for the new Reading Horizons Discovery software that is going to be released this fall. The following is an overview of one of the lessons I recently worked on outlining the different types of nouns. Consider the levels and needs of your students to determine which noun types to teach your students.
  • A noun is a person, place, or thing.
  • A singular noun is one person, place, or thing. A plural noun is more than one person, place, or thing.

o   To form a plural, an -s is added to words ending in a consonant (e.g., one hat, two hats). If the ending consonant is voiceless, the sound of the plural -s is /s/ (e.g., hats). If the ending consonant is voiced, the sound of the plural -s is /z/ (e.g., pens).
o   If a word ends in ch, sh, ss, zz, or x, an -es must be added. The sound of -es is /iz/ (e.g., benches, wishes, dresses, buzzes, boxes).
  • A common noun is a noun that refers to a general person, place, or thing (e.g., a state). A proper noun is a noun that refers to a specific person, place, or thing (e.g., Texas). Proper nouns are capitalized.
  • Possessive nouns show ownership.

o   For singular nouns, add an apostrophe and the letter s (e.g., girl’s bike)
o   For plural nouns that end in s, just add the apostrophe after the s (e.g., girls’ bikes)
o   For plural nouns that do not end in the letter s, add an apostrophe and the letter s (e.g., men’s ties; children’s books)
  • Pronouns can replace a common or proper noun in a sentence

o   Personal pronouns: I, we, you, they, he, she, it, me, us, him, her, them (e.g., Alex likes to swim. = He likes to swim.)
o   Possessive pronouns: my, our, your/yours, their/theirs, his, her, its, mine, ours, his, hers (e.g., I like Judy’s dress. = I like her dress.)
o   Indefinite pronouns do not refer to any specific person, place, or thing: anybody, anything, everyone, somebody, something, etc. (e.g., Someone likes to swim. I like something.)
  • Collective nouns name a group of things. Collective nouns are usually singular (e.g., My family is large; The class is small.)
  • Irregular plural nouns have irregular plural endings (e.g., knives, wolves, volcanoes, octopi, men, mice, fish)
  • Reflexive pronouns end with the word self or selves and refer back to the subject of the sentence: myself, yourself, yourselves, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves (e.g., Matt hurt himself.)
  • Concrete nouns are things you can see, touch, taste, hear, or smell (e.g., train, tent, banana). Abstract nouns are things you cannot see or touch (e.g., happiness, hope, love)

For other ESL Teaching Tips, visit the following blog posts:

Click here to read about the pronunciation of -ed.
Click here to read about pronouncing plurals.
Click here to read about voiced and voiceless sounds.
Click here to read about rising and falling intonation in questions.
Click here to read about syllable stress and the schwa.
Click here to read about adding the suffixes -ing, -ed, -er, and -est.
Click here to read about teaching common suffixes. 
Click here to read about teaching common prefixes. 
Click here to read about spelling words that end in S, F, and Z.
Click here to read about syllable division in multi-syllabic words.
Click here to read about soft sounds of c and g.
Click here to read about the proper use of commas.

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